Beach Baptist Demolished

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And whether the church rebuilds is currently in the hands of an Atlanta developer hoping to build condos and workforce housing on the property and rebuild the church for free. Beach Baptist did not have insurance.

On Wednesday contractors removed the cross from the top of the church then demolished the church building. It’s now a pile of rubble. The space under the church was being used to store supplies and food for the community. The Community Resource Center will now be run out of a tent on the property which will also host in-person church services starting June 18th.

The Beach Baptist Church was severely damaged by Hurricane Ian. The church did not have insurance. Pastor Shawn Critser would like to rebuild a church that seats 500.

Atlanta developer SJ Collins is hoping to rebuild the church for free in return for a chunk of the property where they would build an 8-story condo building and workforce housing on top of the church, which would be run by the church.

The Connecticut Street church property is in a residential neighborhood. Many of the neighbors are opposed to the condo building project and they are circulating a petition against it to present to local government officials.

The 3.2 acres of church property is currently zoned Institutional and the development plan does not fit within the town’s current Land Development Code. The next step would be to file plans with the town and going before the Local Planning Agency. Critser was hopeful they would be able to go before the LPA this month but that now appears to be unlikely.

In order to make the numbers work to rebuild the Beach Baptist Church, Collins says he needs to construct an 8-story 40-unit condo building on the property. Each unit would sell in the “multi-millions.” The original plan was for the building to be 13 stories. That was knocked down to 8 after initial meetings with local elected officials.

 

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